The 76-year-old forger Abdullah Azad – who is a grandfather – was caught in Britain, helping immigrants stay in the country.
He forged letters from officials, visa stamps, and other documents, charging fees starting at £1,000.
How did he do it?
If you were an immigrant who wanted to stay in the country, he would take your passport for up to a year. When he returned it, the passport would have the correct sticker, along with fake letters and documentation from the government.
After you got your passport, if you wanted to become a naturalized British citizen, you had to have your passport examined by the government. His forgeries were so good they passed government inspection.
If you wanted to apply for citizenship, you had to show that you hadn’t been traveling back and forth to your country of birth. If you were like many of Mr. Azad’s clients – who had been traveling – Mr. Azad would remove the pesky passport pages with the travel stamps.
If you had been granted a student visa allowing you to study in Britain, you have to be enrolled in a college. Mr. Azad had a fake college stamp so you could be "enrolled" without ever having to attend a single class.
Not only was he scamming the government, but many of the people he helped did not even realize he was doing anything illegal.
Mr. Azad was definitely an opportunist. He had been previously caught and jailed, but before his formal release he was offered work in an office, where he stole letterhead paper from a man who become the future mayor. Mr. Azad later used the letterhead paper to help a client avoid deportation.
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